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Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport to Build New Terminal to Meet Growing Demand

Rising demand and swelling passenger numbers are thought to be driving the expansion

by Samir Kadri

April 30, 2024

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport / Photo: Paul Cuoco / Unsplash

The Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, has approved plans for the construction of a new terminal at the west end of Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), aiming to meet the airport’s growing demand and handle the increasing number of travelers.

In 2023, the airport saw over 48 million passengers, expected to rise in the coming years.

The new terminal will feature a brand new customs facility and will be designed to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, making it an environmentally friendly structure.

Photo: Phoenix, Arizona. Courtesy of Southwest Airlines / Stephen M. Keller

Mayor Gallego announced the new terminal amid other changes coming to Phoenix. She also announced the formation of an Olympics committee to organize events in Phoenix from the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Phoenix’s international travel has been on a steady rise, with Sky Harbor now scheduling 22 more international flights per week than five years ago. The airport’s economic impact is a staggering $44 billion, marking a significant 15 percent increase compared to 2016.

The Aviation Department has confirmed the West Terminal will be built near Terminal 2’s former location, which was closed in 2020 and demolished.

Phoenix Councilwoman Kesha Hodge Washington is excited about the continued investment in the airport and the expansion of the airport. Sky Harbor is a vital economic engine for the city and the state, creating jobs, boosting the local economy, and serving as a gateway to the world.

Photo: Phoenix Sky Harbor, American Airline sAirbus A321. Courtesy of John Cameron / Unsplash

Chad Makovsky, Phoenix’s director of aviation services, has announced a major refresh of Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4. The work will include optimizing people movers, escalators, elevators, and baggage handling systems and is expected to cost about $500 million.

Sky Harbor also received a $36 million grant in February from the Airport Terminals Program to aid in the overhaul of the outdated Terminal 4 cooling system.

The city council is set to discuss the timelines for the Sky Harbor expansion next month. All these upgrades promise a greatly enhanced experience for travelers in the years to come at Sky Harbor Airport.